Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Sunday, May 13, 2007

You've got to speed it up #3

And finally, before the subject loses all possible relevance, I just wanted to share with you some of my favourite Eurovision ditties of the past. I have a rather splendid compilation CD containing some of these, and jolly good they are too...

Making Your Mind Up - Bucks Fizz. Two boys and two gals. A classic line-up which Scooch attempted to replicate this year but which didn't quite come off (probably owing to the fact that the guys looked like a pair of total queens who were more likely to run off with each other than the two girlies). "Making" was a veritable pop classic, with great opening percussive-shake-your-boom-boom bit, saucy saxophone and some deliciously cr*p hand movements (watch the video below for proof...) And the piece du resistance was the whip-off-skirts routine. "And try to look as if you don't care less, But if you want to see some....MORE!!!"

One Step Further - Bardo. A guy and a gal. Early 80s stomper. And I fondly remember how my RE teacher at secondary school, Mr Skeels, managed to incorporate it into a school assembly, all to do with how we should reach out and make an effort with each other. "Yes, you could have taken one step further and I would have been there, You could have turned around and hit me and I wouldn't have cared...". Very deep. And we even had a boy and girl stand in silhouette on the stage holding up a finger for the "one step" bit. Eurovision comes to York.

Love Games - Belle and The Devotions - Kind of like an 80s Motown number, very swing-a-long and catchy and sadly didn't do very well in the final Eurovision. Whatever happened to Belle and Co?

Power To All Our Friends - Cliff Richard. Ohhh Sir Clifford!! Very power-pop, very silly lyrics. "There's one old man, Spends his life growing flowers, Caring for the bees, Power to the bees" (?!!?) Then it gets all rocky and stompy. Fabulous.

Puppet On A String - Sandie Shaw. Apparently this finished off Sandie's career which is a shame, as it's a delightful 60s ditty. Lovely horns and strings and pom pom backing.

Clodagh Rodgers - Jack In The Box. What is it with Eurovision and songs about kiddie's toys?? "I'm just your jack in a box, You know whenever love knocks, I'm going to bounce up and down on my spring..." Erm, yes love. Keep taking the tablets. Strange how the name "Clodagh" never caught on as well, isn't it?

Ding A Dong - Teach In. A 1970s Netherlands entry and overall winner, once again fulfilling the bizarre/crap lyrics Eurovision criteria. These have to be heard to be believed: "When you're feeling alright, Everything is uptight, Try to sing a song that goes ding ding-a-dong, There will be no sorrow, When you sing tomorrow, And you walk along with your ding dang dong, Ding a dong ever hour, When you pick a flower, Even when your lover has gone, gone, gone...." Despite the stoopid lyrics, actually very catchy. Perhaps the writers ate too many hash cookies. I wonder if "dong" was a euphemism for something else?

Parlez Vous Francais - Baccara. Luxembourg girlie duo of "Yes Sir I Can Boogie" fame. Hilarious costa-brava inflections and Euro-naffness set to fabulous strings, flamenco guitar and an infectious disco beat. All about holiday romance: "He asked me parlez vous francais? If you do we will be okay, If not it's alright, Cos baby tonight, L'amour will teach you what to say. " Mais oui, cherie.

Rock Bottom - Lynsey De Paul and Mike Moran - English male/female duo who both sang and sat at giant pianos. "Where are we? Rock Bottom. Tragedies? We've got 'em. Remedies? Why don't we rub it out and start it again?" Lynsey trilled whilst Mike crooned. Very Ronnie Hazlehurst/Two Ronnies.

Viva La Diva- Dana International. The first ever entry by a transsexual singer and hoorah for that. "Viva la diva! Viva victoria!" A song for divas, drama queens and theatrical types everywhere.

And finally...

Waterloo - ABBA. Forsooth! The Swedish supergroup once participated in Eurovision too! In fact they were moderately successful prior to their Eurovision entry and had already scored a few hits but this further cemented their reputation. A fabulous stomper which I don't really need to describe - I'm sure you know it all too well. The analogy of someone giving in to their insistent, errant lover, just as Napoleon surrendered at Waterloo, was truly inspired: "My, my, At Waterloo Napoleon did surrender, Oh Yeah, And I have met my destiny in a quite a similar way, The history book on the shelf, Is always repeating itself..." Yaaaaay!!

9 Comments:

  • At 3:24 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Before what I regard as my first gig proper, Mott the Hoople in 1972, my parents took me, pre-teens, to see Dagenham girl Sandra Goodrich, aka Sandie Shaw, at what was then the ABC! It was a distorted mess, probably due to a poor sound system, but I fondly remember Sandie as my original pop crush!!

    Ms Shaw hated "Puppet on a String". It was an attempt to revive her flagging career, which it briefly achieved, after falling out with her original songwriters. It remains my favourite Eurovision song, though, as most are poorly conceived, there aren't that many good ones from which to choose, but the best written is, without a doubt, Abba's "Waterloo".

     
  • At 7:12 am , Blogger Steve said...

    I agree. You can't beat a bit of Sandie Shaw - gorgeous voice; really "throaty" and firl-next-door.

     
  • At 6:11 pm , Blogger Steve said...

    Or even girl-next-door...!

     
  • At 5:57 am , Blogger matty said...

    Oh! Waterloo!!!

    ...that is one of my happy songs.

    just makes me happy!

    I know Muriel was happiest when Dancing Queen came on -- but for me it was and will always be Waterloo!

    Exceptional choices, as always!
    kisses,
    matty

     
  • At 5:00 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Timewarden - Wow, you saw Sandie Shaw live! I think she must have been the Kylie/Britney of yesteryear.

    That's interesting about "Puppet". I agree that some other Eurovision songs aren't exactly well-crafted works of art and can be poorly written. The ones in my list are pretty good examples of pop though (in my humble opinion!)

    Steve - Firl/Girl, whichever! Hah!

    Matty - Yes, Waterloo is an undisputed classic, so anthemic, so danceable, so up there! I agree with Muriel!

     
  • At 12:19 am , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    you are definitely hot! And I'm definitely a tart!

     
  • At 6:49 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Yep, I saw Sandie in all her barefoot glory! Hard to imagine now, but such nudity was controversial forty years ago!! I suppose you could liken Britney to Sandie in that Sandie didn't wear any shoes and Britney doesn't wear any pant... let's not even go there!!!

     
  • At 8:14 pm , Blogger Salty Sailor said...

    I felt that Finland was robbed this year. "Leave Me Alone" is a fabulous song and deserved to win. I even made notes during the show to prove that.

     
  • At 8:46 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Salty Sailor - You are indeed a tart, babes!! But thanks for the compliment nevertheless!!

    And I confess I don't remember the Finland entry but I'll take your word for it.

    Timewarden - Funny to think how standards have changed eh. These days these popstrels wear virtually nowt and no-one bats an eyelid!

     

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